Military Factory logo
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of navy warships
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle
HOME
AVIATION
COUNTRIES
MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE
COLD WAR
X-PLANE


FAF EFW N-20 Arbalete (Crossbow)


Jet-Powered Research and Development Aircraft


The EFW N-20.02 Crossbow was an outgrowth of the N-20 program which sought a locally-designed and developed jet fighter for the Swiss Air Force.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 4/18/2016
National Flag Graphic

Specifications


Year: 1951
Manufacturer(s): Eidgenossische Flugzeugwerke (EFW) Switzerland
Production: 1
Capabilities: X-Plane;
Crew: 1
Length: 24.70 ft (7.53 m)
Width: 24.77 ft (7.55 m)
Height: 10.24 ft (3.12 m)
Weight (Empty): 3,307 lb (1,500 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 4,409 lb (2,000 kg)
Power: 4 x Turbomeca Pimene I turbojet engines developing 242lb of thrust each.
Speed: 354 mph (570 kph; 308 kts)
Ceiling: 26,247 feet (8,000 m; 4.97 miles)
Range: 249 miles (400 km; 216 nm)
Operators: Switzerland (cancelled)
The EFW N-20 "Arbalete" ("Crossbow") was born as an off-shoot to the EFW N-20 program, an indigenous initiative on the part of the Swiss government to field a homegrown jet-powered fighter. The program produced a wooden glider for testing as the N-20.01 and the N-20.10 full-scale aircraft. While not adopted for formal service by the Swiss Air Force, the program provided excellent experience for engineers and local industry. The N-20.02 existed as another test aircraft in the series, being dimensionally similar to the N-20.01 glider.

The glider form proved the overall design and configuration of the aircraft sound, one that envision a central fuselage containing the pilot, cockpit, avionics and fuel. The fuselage was straddled by a swept-back wing unit of particularly thick chord. A tricycle undercarriage was used that was retractable. The cockpit, covered over in a large transparent canopy for excellent vision, was set well forward in the fuselage.

The N-20.01 glider went airborne (by way of tug aircraft) on April 17th, 1948. This laid the foundation for the N-20.02 with the major difference being installation of 4 x Turbomeca Pimene I turbojets of 242ln thrust. The engines were set in individual nacelles along the mainplane trailing edges, each pairing in an over-under configuration. Altogether, the engines were of low thrust and did not provide the necessary power to achieve high speed envelopes but proved suitable for the data collection needed to advance the program.

At the time of its completion, the N-20.02 marked the first-ever Swiss jet-powered aircraft.

This test article went airborne for the first time on November 16th, 1951 and managed a maximum speed of 354 miles per hour in the sixteen minutes the aircraft was in the air. The results were promising, showcasing an aerodynamically clean form with good maneuverability. 447 miles per hour was later achieved in a diving action.

The N-20 project was eventually terminated by the Swiss government which led to development of the FFA P-16 (detailed elsewhere on this site). However, this too was cancelled and the Swiss Air Force relied on a foreign solution to its jet fighter force, the British Hawker Hunter. The Arbalete endured in research for a few years longer, being given up for good in 1954.

The full-sized N-20 "Aiguillon" managed some ground running and a few "hops" but little else - doomed by its underpowered engine arrangement and politics.






Armament



None.

Variants / Models



• N-20.02 "Arbalete" - Base Series Designation; one aircraft completed for testing.
Site Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Cookies  |  Site Map

www.MilitaryFactory.com. Site content ©2003- MilitaryFactory.com, All Rights Reserved.

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, and WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.


Facebook Logo YouTube Logo